Most of my professional writing background (paying day jobs, that is) has been writing for TV. I’ve won awards doing it, too.
Screenplays were my first adult attempts into writing personal projects. I’ve won awards for a screenplay, too.
So, cool, right? I’ve got visual writing skills, right? Well, yes and no.
Both TV spots and screenplays have limitations on time. For TV, a commercial spot writer has just seconds to get his or her message across. Modern screenplay formatting demands the story fit into the typical 90 minute movie. That means the writer better get to the point and fast.
Ah, but the moving media writer has visuals to enhance the audio and so can use both of those senses to rapidly increase a viewer’s comprehension.
I find my novelist self taking advantage of the write-tight skills I’ve honed over the years as a TV writer. The story in Manitou moves and that’s good.
Keeping the visuals in mind as I work on Manitou, though, is both good and bad. Good because I want my words to put pictures in my readers heads – I want my readers to see the story. However, visuals can get in the way when I include every movement and step a character takes. So what if my heroine, Wray Sky, moves to the kitchen counter? That so-what question is coming in handy during the editing process. Fear not, future readers, I’m cutting as many so-what moves as I can.
Jump cuts were a big no-no in the video world. I say were, because jumpy editing that keeps viewers confused seems like the norm these days. The training I got to avoid them as a producer, though, is also filtering into my novel writing ways. My scenes can’t be jumpy – even in a written story. It’s got to flow – and smooth flowing is what I’m aiming for.
Now, back to editing for me. I’m on Chapter 8 and I’m enthralled with this story. I love it and hope you will, too.
Thanks for reading,